Monday, December 5, 2011

Rhythm In Our Home : The Light of Plants

Didn't I just say that I wouldn't forget about autumn? The second week of Advent is helping me with that...

The second light of Advent is the light of plants,
plants that reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance

This is the time we usually get our Christmas tree and bring it home to slowly decorate. Before the children wake on this second Sunday in Advent I tip toe around the house adding things here and there. I add a tree to our manger scene and some more greenery to our wreath. I also add some fresh holly and pine branches from our forest around the home and usually to the manger scene, as well, but this year we are doing something different. Inspired by this post, and a set up at the church we have been attending, the girls each have their own pot of soil so that they may grow straw to make Baby Jesus cozy in his manger.

A Family Advent Activity: Plant Straw for the Manger

1. Fill containers with dirt. Label each container with each child/person's name.
2. Fill a bowl with grass seeds/wheat seeds
3. All Advent, look for ways to do small acts of kindness: a hot cup of coffee, a sticky note on a mirror, a treat left on a seat. And for every small act, plant one seed.
4. Water throughout Advent.
5. On Christmas Eve, gather the sprouts of grass. Lay the grass in the manger for the Christ Child.

- from Ann Voskamp's post

We are using the same wheat grass seeds we use for spring, in the hope that they will grow fast enough. I love that my children are literally planting a seed of compassion by doing this and that this is about acts of kindness and not about 'being good'. We don't use 'good child' or 'bad child' in our home. To me, all children are good (perhaps not the behavior at times, though). It's also great because it has them actively participating in welcoming Him. This may be a new tradition for us.

It was K's turn to the light the Advent wreath candles this week.

Since the second week of Advent usually occurs at the beginning of December, the Advent spiral comes out and is placed on our nature table. This one counts down the days to Christmas Eve by placing a candle on the spiral and moving Mary and her donkey to it each day starting December 1st. This year, I placed the brass candle holders on the beeswax candles ahead of time and put them in a bowl for the girls to easily access. (Hoping that was a good idea...)

The Saint Nicholas books and decorations come out around this time, too, in preparation for Saint Nicholas day on December 6th.

I have a strong desire to clean like crazy around this time every year, but it seems that I am the only one in my family that feels this way. Then K and I got this bulletin on Sunday. Granted it is referring to having an open heart and being hospitable and charitable to those around us, but when I read the title to K, she read it as 'we need to clean and decorate out home while we wait for Christmas day'. Hey, I won't stop her from wanting to do that. When I picked her up from school today she told me she wanted to come straight home and clean - and we did!

We also got out a couple more decorations, like our wool felt Advent wreath to hang above the girls' table. The poor candles are in need of repair after being played with by Baby L, but for now they hang.

Our Advent/Christmas book basket is out, too. You can see all the books we read around this time (some old and some new favorites) listed on the left hand side bar of the blog. Most of them are from our local libraries so we don't have to store them during the year but we also own quite a few.

Happy Saint Nicholas Day (if you are reading this on Tuesday), I'll be back with a post and pictures of how we celebrate it. Right now this helper of the good Saint needs to get upstairs and remove carrots from some eager children's boots and replace them with small gifts. The glue is still drying on one of those gifts. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, right?!

Please remember - this is just our family rhythm and what works for us at the moment. This isn't meant to be hard and fast rules on how rhythm should go in every one or any one's homes. I just thought to share it because I receive quite a few e-mails asking about our home rhythm, and I also just wanted it documented for myself so that I may remember these times when they are older and/or on to another rhythm.

Thank you, again, for joining me in the rhythm fun! Here is the linky list. If you have a (new or old) link you would like to share about your family rhythm, please enter it below so that we all may see. Please don't forget to link back here in your post. How else will we all be able to share and be inspired? I look forward to seeing your inspiration!
Thanks friends!

Don't forget to enter for you chance to win a pocket gnome from Bright Life Toys here.

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